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A high-flying tech start-up milked our diversity stories. Then it laid us off.
Our latest Lioness story.
A Lioness story out today, by several former employees of the tech start-up Notarize.
Citing poor market conditions, Notarize laid off over 100 people—over 60 of whom were members of a protected class. Some had been used in the company’s diversity marketing only weeks prior.
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When Boston-based tech start-up Notarize pitched us on joining its ranks, one of its main selling points during job interviews and recruitment outreach was the company’s dedication to diverse and equitable staffing. Some of us were happily employed elsewhere, but we were impressed by the idea of an inclusive, recession-proof tech company democratizing access to notary public services by making them available virtually. We uprooted and joined Notarize.
Fast-forward to last month, when—like many in this unstable economy—we were some of the 100+ employees laid off from our 440-person workforce.
Layoffs themselves are not extraordinary, especially in the fickle start-up ecosystem, where change is the only constant. But the authors of this essay have compared notes since losing our jobs, and we noticed two remarkable patterns. One: that many of those laid off were members of a protected class. Of the 100 people laid off, we know of over 60 who were either women, Black, parents, LGBTQ, older than 50, pregnant, or disabled. And two: that many of those laid off had been vocal about our experiences as minorities in the company, had elevated issues or made suggestions with regard to diversity and inclusion, or had pushed the company to make more Black hires in the weeks leading up to the workforce reduction.
(Read the rest of the story here…)